May 27, 2010

What Transports You?

(Apologies for the lack of recent posts. I've had lots of ideas, but as it takes me about 90 minutes to 2 hours to write a blog post, it's been difficult to carve out time. So I thought up an experiment: with video, I could blurt out my thoughts for a few minutes, and shazam!, instant blog post. (While my internal editor is harsh when it comes to the printed word --a 15 minute burst of creativity turns into a couple of hours of wordsmithing and copy editing-- but when it comes to improvisation, my editor is okay with "what you see is what you get" )

So, when do stories transport you?


Read more about the story listener's state of transportation in "The Enchanted Imagination: Storytelling's Power to Entrance Listeners," by Brian W. Sturm, American Library Association, September 27, 2006. Link.


Story Hugs - MyLinda Butterworth said...

Tim, I like the video entries because they let me see you and get to know you in a different performance medium. As to being transported, when a story is told well I am fully engaged in the story and no longer listen to it a critical way. It is hard to be a teacher, trainer and producer and turn off the need to nitpik at each of the technical aspects of the story. A story in which the teller is fully engaged will draw us into the story.

Margaret Schwallie said...

I liked listening to you ramble. I am waiting to afford a digital audio recorder to ramble into.

Speak 2B Free Spoken Word Community said...

Great that you're getting into video posts now! As someone else said earlier it allows us to see you and get to know you in another medium that adds much more depth and understanding.

To me, the point of "transportation" in storytelling happens precisely when the story or "scene" begins. I often tell the spoken word poets in my community that their performance happens the minute they make their way up on stage. It is the first the audience is seeing of you, and it is important to be in character from the very beginning.

When that doesn't happen, members of the audience lose a connection and begin to become critical of everything. By starting and staying in character you eliminate the possibility (for some audience members anyway) to get to that point of being critical because you've caught their interest and they're all ears.

As storytellers or poets, we must set the mood for a performance and we do that by starting in character. From there, everything you do and say will further transport your audience into the heart of the performance. Your facial expressions, arm & hand movements and tone of voice will all create a mood that can transport audience members wherever you want them to go. Just remember that if these elements are lacking at the start of a performance, you open the door for critiques on all levels.

Limor said...

When the storyteller believes so does the audience. Believe what? that the story is actually happening. That means there needs to be a place for it to materialize. Story-form helps but I think there is something more - the physical place for the story. The performer with the two character monologues you've described seems to have found a physical place for the first but not for the second. When there is a place the listener is safe to leave the story, be transported and come back with no worries about the world suddenly disappering.

Ben is an impressive performer by all means. You were carried away because you let yourself go. I'm not sure the people sitting next to you had the same freedom to experience without knowing.

Video suits you well :)

ZBOOK said...

your video blogging is so great because it is you telling stories! ...about storytelling! feels just right. I know what you mean about the energy that goes into writing posts; when composing a piece of writing, there is a story told in even the way we craft the writing. many choices to make. maybe we'll give making vid blogs a try some time, but for now, writing stories about our story best suits our blog. but for yours, I adore the video format!

what transports me? well I must agree that it is indeed STORY. This is what I have been clearly realizing in the last few months. (which s why I was drawn to your blog) I'm a singer and I yearn to write songs. However so much of the writing I have done in the past decade has never truly transported me, thus has rarely translated into a compelling song. I see now that it is because I have been mostly writing about overall emotions and symbols of life, but not about the stories who's paths reveal them. I've learned that a song is a story told in 3-4 minutes. I've got to get personal, even if it's not about me.
∞ ceci